In 27 cities around the country thousands of people went outside today to sprint around in their underpants and raise money for Neurofibromatosis (NF). If you were in the downtown area today you may have seen more than a thousand people whiz by you in all manner of bedroom wear. There were capes, there were nighties, there were Hugh Hefner smoking coats.. but most importantly these brave runners helped raise more than $200,000 for the cause.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow along various types of nerves and affects 1 in every 3,000 births in the U.S..The disease can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities and crippling pain. To learn more or donate to help combat the disease you can find more information on the site.
Cupid’s Undie Run began as a fun idea from founder Chad Leathers in 2010 for people to run around the capitol in Washington D.C. to raise funds to help battle NF. It is now an almost nation-wide event that has raised almost $2 million.
“At the end of they day, this isn’t about people running in their underwear. This is about helping raise awareness for a great cause,” said John Marcicky, Community Relations & Corporate Partnership at Quicken Loans. “We at Quicken Loans are always aiming to make a difference in the community and attract unique events to Detroit. Cupid’s Undie Run is a way to accomplish those goals in one shot.”
Detroit’s Undie Run is of particular significance. The son of Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert was diagnosed with NF. His family was very influential in bringing the event to Detroit. Gilbert has matched all fund raising efforts here in Detroit and Cleveland of any registered runner who has raised between $500-$1000.
In 2013 the Detroit Undie Run was sold out and 450 runners helped raise $130,000. Detroit led the way for all new cities participating in the event in 2013. Last year it was almost 40 degrees.
This year the temps were somewhere between 15 and 20 degrees, with a biting Motor City breeze. That didn’t stop more than double the amount of participants from showing up. As of this writing, the 2014 Cupid’s Undie Run has raised more than $200,000 this year. Check out the pics.. looked like a fun time on the streets of Detroit.
Underwear-clad runners gather in front of The Fillmore before race start.
Getting ready for the Cupid’s Undie Run
Excited runners get going on Woodward
Cupid himself made an appearance in the Undie Run
Runners round Grand Circus Park past the Opera House on their loop back to the Fillmore
Throngs of runners for Cupid’s Undie Run.
All photos credit: Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo